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Brooklyn Market Shows Signs of Stability; Queens Still Falling

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The first quarter Manhattan market reports two weeks ago painted a picture of a sales market with some momentum, thanks to falling prices. And today we learn that the beginning of 2010 showed a similar pattern in Brooklyn and Queens, according Prudential Douglas Elliman's quarterly report, prepared by appraiser/Curbed graph guru Jonathan Miller (and online here). In Brooklyn, the number of sales rose 56.9 percent since the first quarter of 2009. In Queens, that number jumped 72.2 percent, with a whopping 160.6 percent increase in condo sales.

It's in pricing that the boroughs' patterns diverge. Prices are still plunging in Queens, with the median sales price down 12.2 percent, to $345,000, year-over-year. Brooklyn seems to have found more of an equilibrium, with median sales prices falling only 1.8 percent, to $466,000. Why does Brooklyn have to make market recovery look so easy?
In Q4, our friends in Williamsburg and Greenpoint had not fully embraced the price cut-brings-sales increase philosophy. But last quarter they appear to have joined the bandwagon, with a median sales price down 4.1 percent but a 51.2 percent increase in number of sales. Better late than never!

As for the lucky ducks in Brownstone Brooklyn (the report's label for the 1-3 family home subcategory of Northwest Brooklyn), they continued to be lucky ducks. Their median sales price rose 14.9 percent, to $1.25 million. Number of sales jumped 115.6 percent.

And over in Queens, we wondered last quarter whether the new development market in Long Island City had finally found its footing, but it looks like it still had some exploring to do in Q1. In the Northwest Queens category of the report, which includes LIC and Astoria, the median sales price fell 22.1 percent, to $428,000, and new development prices were down 13.8 percent, to $590/square foot. And while sales were up 22.8 percent, only 30.7 percent of those sales were new development condos, a drop from last quarter. We hesitate to say this, but LIC, maybe it's time to try to be more like Williamsburg.
· Market Reports [Elliman]
· Market Reports: Returning to Something Resembling Normalcy! [Curbed]